letting nature back in

at home and further afield


suburban spaces

Eagles in our neighbourhood: The crowned eagle

The crowned eagle, the third largest and the most powerful African eagle, has found a way to survive in close proximity to some urban areas in parts of eastern South Africa. Continue reading “Eagles in our neighbourhood: The crowned eagle”

Family story

The story of survival depends on the strength of family bonds that endure, as epitomized by these Vervet monkeys, even in a hostile world. Continue reading “Family story”

The understorey: The tale of the White Starred Robin

Once upon a time, not long ago and not far away, a White Starred Robin visited our garden pond. If I had the powers to understand the language of robins, what might I learn? Continue reading “The understorey: The tale of the White Starred Robin”

Monkey mom snatches a second baby: A photo essay on how the story unfolds in my suburban garden

This post is in the form of a photo essay documenting what happened after a vervet monkey mother, nursing a baby of her own, suddenly took a smaller baby from another mother. 

Although it is common for juvenile and female monkeys to take an interest in infant monkeys and to want to touch and even hold the infants, this is the only time I have seen a monkey with her own small baby take another baby and without permission. This may be unusual or rare behaviour, and it is rare to capture it on camera in a suburban garden. Continue reading “Monkey mom snatches a second baby: A photo essay on how the story unfolds in my suburban garden”

Favourite garden birds to cherish: Dark-capped Bulbul (aka Toppie)

Birds that are common in suburban gardens bring life and liveliness that we sometimes take for granted. This is the first in a series of posts on favourite birds: familiarity breeds respect! Continue reading “Favourite garden birds to cherish: Dark-capped Bulbul (aka Toppie)”

Celebrating seediness


The meaning of the word “seedy” has come to be associated with being unkempt or shabby, rather than being fruitful or abundant, which was the original meaning of the word, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. We speak disparagingly of having “gone to seed”, and admiringly of being “in the flower of youth”. Perhaps this comes from the school of thinking that life is linear, rather than the tradition of thinking in terms cycles of life. Continue reading “Celebrating seediness”

In the zone: The wild pomegranate’s trumpets of orange (Burchellia bubaline)

A favourite with humans and birds, this slow-growing shrubby plant is evergreen, dense, has beautiful orange trumpet flowers clustered in little posies, and it doesn’t grow too tall. It is perfect for any size garden, doesn’t need managing or pruning, just a sunny or partially shaded spot to do its thing.

Why this blog?

This blog celebrates the creatures, birds and plants – the inhabitants and survivors that continue to enrich suburban spaces and the lives of the humans who are fortunate enough to live there too. It also celebrates people who care and highlights practical activities and information on wildlife-friendly gardens. It features images taken in my own garden reflecting that there is still life in suburban spaces, and it reflects on sustainable approaches to gardening and housekeeping. Continue reading “Why this blog?”

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